The unbearable lightness of summer maintenance
Summer maintenance at the residency is completed once again. This year the end of July was steaming hot, and we always imagine doing so much more than we actually are able to accomplish in a relatively short time. The deadline for the first autumn guests arriving at the house comes always too early. This said, I think we were able to finish quite a lot for the benefit of our fall & future guests this third summer of the residency programme. Still, so much was left for the next time. But first, I would like to thank our thoughtful guests for your feedback and compliments in the guest book & especially for all the nice presents that you have brought to SRP’s ever-growing library: your work copies in DVDs & CDs, magazines and publications, books and small artwork and objects. Wow, we are soon going to need a much bigger book shelve! And perhaps some kind of a permanent collection of the residency artists’ works in the future…
But back to the maintenance news from great future plans. The biggest changes are the changes in the garden and safety issues of residing in the rural mountains. A new iron fence with two gateways opening to the premises was cast with the help of the contractor and a local welder, surrounding the yard, the stone pavement and the parking lot, keeping various unwanted phenomena outside on the street, and guaranteeing that the neighbor’s dog no longer visits & steals the cat food from the yard. We also added some solar-powered LED lights to the garden lining the way to the house to make your way back in the evening a little easier without lights bulbs attracting a zillion cigadas around the doors. The yard and sides of the house were painted with chalk paint as usual to protect the walls from insects & weeds. The abandoned house next door was sealed with a lock and a wine barrel after a dead animal was found inside and the feral cats had to move. They now got a new, waterproof shelter for the coming winter rains, where they have an access to the church yard. The female cat, Minos, residing with her growing offspring on the residency premises since its beginning and bringing a lot of joy to the guests with her domestic life on display directly on our backyard, was splayed at a local vet two weeks ago. After the operation was successfully carried out, we released the mom and let her take care of her last kitten. They play on the yard daily.
Inside the residence, the second work desk was aqcuired to meet the needs and wishes of our residency guests. A new, solid glass and aluminium table was acquired to the balcony, and what was left of the 2-year-old iron rusty one, was refurbished, painted black & brought inside. The guests can now also enjoy a nap between work in a hammock facing the valley with a mountain view by the marble writing table & the Hemingway chair.
What else? The basin was sealed for the 7th time and a moisture shield was placed behind the tap to avoid the seal from cracking again and giving way to an army of ants. A wooden obstacle was secured with silicon in front of the upstairs door to stop water from entering under the doorstep during heavy winter rains from the mountains. Lets see how long it lasts. Other issues – the residence is now completely insect-free, thanks to our efforts of bettee insulating the doors and windows and attaching firmer sweeps under the doors, and our guests’ efforts of spraying the wooden columns inside the house with a mosquito repellent during two and a half years regularly. Above the bed we attached a mosquito net just in case, and a curtain blocking the garden door light at night. New towels, pillow cases, bed covers as well as various local china to the kitchen were acquired. The rusty dishwash stand was done away with and replaced with a new plastic one to better endure the heavy usage of the house. The toilet has a new brush, shower holder and a trash bin. Some curtains were added downstairs to mark the open alcoves, a second night table and a light. The blankets, bed covers and carpets were washed as usual, windows cleaned an some parts of the walls that were damaged due to heavy winter rains were repainted and crackings sealed on the surface of the plaster. The air-con devices & filters were removed & cleaned. It is quite amazing how quickly everything rusts and deteriorates in the Mediterranian climate without constant efforts against nature phenomena, seawind, humidity & the heat. So far so good.
That’s it folks! Already looking forward to (having a rest at my cool Finnish home office after these 5 weeks) the next autumn term. Let the guests arrive, we hope you enjoy your stay here and do a great work.
The maintenance team